Township Performance Gazebo Coming Closer To Fruition

Artist’s rendering of the proposed performance gazebo.

The proposed gazebo for the municipal complex on DeMott Lane is 70 percent funded, organizers told the Township Council on Jan. 23.

Fundraisers have collected $35,000 of the $50,000 target, the council was told.

The three township residents spearheading the project – Bill Grippo, John Felix and Michael Steinbrück – appeared before the council to give a status update.

The performance gazebo, to be located near the township library, is seen as a place for the presentation of various forms of entertainment, including music, plays, and dramatic readings.

The trio appeared before the council – earlier than they’d originally expected – to ask for the body’s nod to take the project before the various township departments that need to oversee it.

“We didn’t think we’d be back so soon,” Grippo said, “but we’ve had great results so far. People have been very generous.”

The three last updated the council in December.

Grippo said having the gazebo operating by July 4, which is the target date, is “going to take some coordination with the township, with some more donors, with planning.”

“It’s a very very exciting project for Franklin Township, you just have to have a vision,” he said. “This is a place for harmony and peace. It’s not just a gazebo for music and all, it’s for reflection, for people to come out together.”

Steinbrück showed the council several concept drawings of the gazebo. Preliminary plans call for the structure to be about 38 feet wide, with eight pillars. Each pillar will represent one of the township’ eight villages.

“It’s not meant to be a full stage, but it’s going to be an appropriate size to do the things we want to do,” he said.

A meeting is being scheduled among the organizers and the township construction, engineering and public works departments, said Township Manager Robert Vornlocker.

The group also announced a fundraising concert tentatively set for May 12 at Franklin High School. The musical group, “Motor City Review,” which has performed at Canal Fest, will be the headliner.

Steinbrück said there may also be student involvement in the evening.

Donations to the gazebo fund are tax-deductible, thanks to the East Millstone Historical Society agreeing to act as a flow-through organization for the fundraising effort. The gazebo will be gifted to the township when it is complete, but will be managed by the Franklin Township Cultural Arts Council.

Donations can be made online at www.franklincac.0rg. Checks should be made out to emhs-Franklin Gazebo Fund and sent to the East Millstone Historical Society, PO Box 2184, East Millstone, NJ 08875.


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